A Kenyan teacher was on Friday sentenced to three years in prison for slapping a student.
Wycliffe Kingori Mwangi was found guilty of assaulting a student at Kaaga Girls High School in eastern Kenya on March 24, 2014.
The slap, according to the victim, ruptured her eardrum.
During sentencing, Chief Magistrate Lucy Ambasi said that she had no doubts the accused assaulted the minor which compelled her to undergo an operation to correct a partial hearing loss.
“I find the accused, who has been charged with slapping the complainant thrice leading to secondary ear infection and subsequent partial hearing loss, guilty of the offence,” said Ms Ambasi.
The school had accused the girl of practicing lesbianism, but the magistrate noted that she had not been previously indicted by the school of the same and was not given a chance to defend herself.
The magistrate also called out the school for failing to conduct investigations into the incident once it was reported. Instead, the school tried to suspend the victim and 12 others in an apparent cover-up.
She dismissed the evidence of the accused and two other teachers, including that of the then deputy principal.
Instead, she found the evidence tendered by the victim, a former schoolmate and several of her classmates as credible.
According to witnesses, the teacher summoned the student at night saying he had received complaints from other students that she had allegedly been peeping at other students in the bathroom.
When the student went to complain the next day after other students started spreading the allegations, the teacher slapped her and took her to the principal’s office.
She later developed an infection but when she sought permission to go to hospital, the teachers at first claimed she was feigning sickness before they decided to suspend her and 12 others for ‘engaging in lesbianism.’
Ms Ambasi, however, spared the teacher from the more serious charge of assault causing grievous harm and instead convicted him on a simple assault.